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DVD Helps Educate About Parkinson’s Disease

Thursday December 29, 2005

Seattle, WA, Dec. 22, 2005(Newswise) - The Washington State Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association has released a 90-minute patient education DVD for people with Parkinson’s, their physicians, families and friends.

The DVD, titled “Managing Parkinson’s: Straight Talk and Honest Hope,” is now available for no cost through the APDA Information and Referral Center located at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Our goal is to place this DVD into the hands of everyone who can benefit from it. The title comes from our belief that receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson doesn’t mean that your life is over,” said Mike Shanahan, former UW chief of police, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago. Shanahan has devoted countless volunteer hours to the DVD project.

“There are things that you can do, and need to do, to live with Parkinson’s,” Shanahan said. “With growing numbers of early onset Parkinson’s cases, like Michael J. Fox, the need for honest, hopeful dialogue is becoming critical.”

Prominent Parkinson’s experts from around the world were recruited to take part in the DVD, including Dr. Philip Swanson, Dr. James Leverenz and Dr. Ali Samii of the University of Washington Department of Neurology.

“The value of this tool is in the message it provides: that the world is not over once a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” Samii said. “Although there is no cure for it, there are lots of ways to treat its symptoms. Among neurodegenerative disorders, I think Parkinson’s is the most treatable and manageable.”

The DVD begins with a foreword by Dr. C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general of the United States.

Over half the initial 25,000 copies have now been distributed to individuals, support groups, and physicians nationwide.

The DVD can be particularly helpful to those newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s. An estimated 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

The DVD is available for no charge from the Washington State Chapter of APDA as long as the supply lasts via http://www.waparkinsons.org, or by phone at 206-543-5369. Further information about the DVD and the work of APDA in Washington state can also be found on the website.